A little commentary along with answering your questions:
I tried to use as much current novelverse continuity as possible (such as Nogura being in active service again circa 2298 from The Sundered
, Sinclair-Alexander being CinC circa 2311 in Serpents Among the Ruins
, along with things like the same novel implying Enterprise-B
had received a substantial upgrade by 2311 to her tactical systems) while also trying to extrapolate from existing sources.
A lot of the policy shifts that are described are based on some naval administrations in history, namely the Melville Admiralty of the Royal Navy circa 1812 - 1830s, and the planning for post-war naval administration in the US.
For the Excelsior
batches, the whole idea is that the hulls in Ordinary don't really receive anything more than the bare minimum necessities. As a result they're ready to be "finished" and given a commissioned registry number somewhere down the line. When Starfleet has a sudden need for new hulls or escalation, they'll shift production from "reserve" hulls (that are available for finishing later) and simply use dockyards to fit out the preassembled hulls with the most modern technology.
I figured this was the best way to explain why a number of 24th century Excelsiors
seemed to have very modern interiors. Specifically the USS Righteous
from Star Trek: Borg and the Lakota
from DS9's "Paradise Lost" along with the interiors of TNG/DS9 Miranda
class ships. The concept of modular interiors as "floating" within a hull frame come from the TNG:TM, and I would imagine Starfleet found the "truss and beam" system of creating hard SIF reinforced exteriors to be the equivalent of the Steppings Diagonal Bracing system in creating a new generation of more economic, stronger ships.
And yes, I do intend to write additional chapters.
Probably the next one will be the "Romulan escalation and Tomed Incident" section, followed by Cardassian First Contact/Betreka Nebula.
(If you're interested, I'd recommend reading up on the Seppings system, because to me it would have some bearing on your Excelsior
TM, in that Excelsior
's vastly greater size might be comparable to how post-Seppings line of battle ships were able to grow considerably in size.
You can read about it in some detail here: http://www.maritime.org/conf/conf-goodwin.htm